“And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant” ( Hebrews 7:20-22 )
Several times throughout the gospels the voice of God was heard over Jesus. The first instance is when he was baptized by John. A voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son, whom I love: with him I am well pleased” ( Matthew 3:17 ). Another notable event was on the mount of transfiguration. While Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah a bright cloud enveloped them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” ( Matthews 17:5 ). Lastly right before Jesus death, while He was praying in the garden He said, “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” ( John 12:28 ). Everyone there had different reaction to the voice of God, some said it had thundered and others said an angel had spoken to him. However look at Jesus’ response “This voice was for your benefit, not mine” ( John 12:30 ).
Every time God spoke audibly to Jesus it was for our benefit. Jesus understood God’s nature completely because they are one and the same so the words were not said for Jesus’ sake ( John 1:1, Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:19, Hebrews 1:1-2 ) However, He said these things about Jesus so we could have insight into this relationship between the two. Through it we see that God loved Jesus, God was pleased with Jesus and God’s name was glorified through Jesus. These are important truths to know.
In the same way, the oath made between God and Jesus that He would eternally be our High Priest was made solely for our benefit so we could understand that the covenant made on our behalf was lasting and eternal. In fact God wanted to make His intent very clear so He made us this promise and then confirmed it with an oath and hinged everything on his character, “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. ( Hebrews 6:17-18 ). Knowing this should give us boldness and courage to approach God on the basis of being reconciled through Jesus.
Because of this oath, through Christ we have full access to God. We have boldness to enter into the very presence of the Father to find grace and help in every circumstance of life ( Hebrews 4:16 ). This is why the Law was weak and useless ( Hebrews 7:18 ). It could not bring us into perfect fellowship with God the Father ( Hebrews 7:11 ), however Jesus did. And because God promised Him on oath that He was a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek, He has become the guarantee of a better, stronger and more advantageous covenant ( Hebrews 7:22 ). God wants us to know this; which is why He made this oath to Jesus. This is something we should constantly remind ourselves so that we can live in a state of peace, being assured that we are acceptable to God solely on the basis of what Jesus did for us. This is an amazing truth, which is why John said, “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” ( I John 3:19-20 ).
The oath made to Jesus was made solely for our benefit so that we would know and rest in the covenant that Jesus secures for us. Through Christ we have peace with God ( Romans 5:1 ) and confidence to approach Him through faith ( Hebrews 4:16 ). This is why the covenant of grace we have is far superior to the old covenant in every way imaginable and this new covenant is guaranteed eternally by the oath made on our behalf.